China has made anal COVID-19 swabs mandatory for all foreign travelers arriving in the country, a report said Wednesday.
The government has claimed that such tests provide a higher degree of accuracy than other screening methods for the virus, the Times UK reported.
As part of the new travel requirement, there will be testing hubs in Beijing and Shanghai airports, the outlet reported.
Li Tongzeng, a respiratory disease medic, said the anal swabs are better because virus traces stay in fecal samples longer than they do in the nose or throat, state media reported.
The move comes after Japan asked China to stop performing the exams on its citizens when they enter the country because the swabs cause mental anguish.
“Some Japanese reported to our embassy in China that they received anal swab tests, which caused a great psychological pain,” Katsunobu Kato, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, told a news conference.
|Staff wearing protective masks stand behind a counter at Beijing Capital International Airport on Feb. 2, 2021.|
Yan Cong/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, however, defended the screenings as “science-based.”
The tests are “in accordance with the changes in the epidemic situation as well as relevant laws and regulations,” he said.